Young Leaders of the Americas Fellowship Program

The Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) builds linkages between young leaders across the hemisphere to empower business and social entrepreneurs with the training, tools, networks and resources needed to transform their societies for the better.

Highlights of the program include educating local entrepreneurs on environmentally responsible and sustainable business practices. 

Last October we participated in a fellowship program with the Young Leaders of the America’s Initiative. This program is geared at building entrepreneurs in the Caribbean and Latin America. 

khala and alex

Khala Hurdle is a young entrepreneur from Barbados taking part in the program. As part of her YLAI fellowship she visited Portland and spend time with us here at Looptworks. She begin her time with Looptworks with a presentation on Barbados history and culture and how it influences her fashion brand, Kalene Designs.

During her stay, she spent time with each member of the Looptworks team, learning a bit about everyone's role in sustaining and building a business.


Khala was especially interested in the Looptworks mission and focus on brand values. She is working to follow and implement B Corp Values to guide her business and practices, investing in recruiting local members of the community in job creation and sustainably produced products.

Barbados’s industry has been in a recession; much of the industry has move away, leaving the local economy heavily dependent on tourism. Looking to impact social change, as part of the program, Khala applied for return visit from Looptworks.

visiting barbados

This was the first trip to Barbados, and as part of the program, Khala enlisted additional speakers from local professionals in industries ranging from the film and music industry and radio to speak with young people about potential opportunities. 

Looptworks founder and CEO Scott Hamlin kicked off the reverse trip via teleconference, sharing the Looptworks experience with B Corp certification and how it has helped Looptworks improve our impact in the area of environmental impacts as a company.

Angelina Malizia traveled to Barbados in person on behalf of the Looptworks team.

Visiting Khala’s business & production facility, Angelina touched on layout, training, building out the space, and figuring out processes and strategies for making production more efficient. 

During the reverse exchange, Kalene Designs also hosted a number of workshops and sessions to educate local craftspeople of more creative job options, educate local entrepreneurs about environmentally responsible and sustainable business practices, introduce local businesses to the concept of B Corp certification and encourage promoting the local economy through entrepreneurship.

Learn more about the YLAI program at: